Paths to Justice: Navigating with the Wandering Lost Providing Access to Justice in Rural and Linguistic Minority Communities in South-Eastern Ontario

This project brought together Legal Aid Ontario funded organizations in South Eastern Ontario to enhance collaboration in the shared goals of enhancing legal literacy for low-income linguistic minorities in the region. Research was based on a literature review, data collection from focus groups and personal interviews. Findings include the clear preference for PLEI delivery that includes personal interaction, the connection between legal literacy and general health and well being and therefore the need to establish medical/legal partnerships and the need for outreach in non-traditional locations such as public libraries, malls, religious institutions, high schools, etc. The authors note that low legal literacy often translates into delayed identification of legal issues which often occurs only as a result of the intervention of non-legal service providers. Also noted is that access to justice is more than access to information.